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Jarvis courts IFAs

Jarvis Investment Management has made its multi-fund Isa, freehand, available to the IFA market. It gives investors a choice of around 1,800 onshore Oeics and unit trusts from 149 fund management groups.

The fund managers available include Aberdeen, Artemis, Marlborough, Newton, Rathbones, Schroders, Solus and UBS. Jarvis makes an initial charge of 3 per cent and an annual management charge of 1 per cent.

Charges will also be incurred on the underlying funds. However, some of these funds will be discounted. For example, funds from Rathbones that have an initial charge of 5.5 per cent are discounted to 1.5 per cent on the freehand product.

Freehand was designed to offer the tax advantages that investors cannot get by investing directly in funds of funds. Other benefits of freehand are that IFAs and their clients do not get swamped with paperwork from more than one company and they can diversify across managers, asset classes, regions and industries within one product.

A recent report from Cerulli Associates shows that multi-manager products and funds of funds are a growing trend. Part of their popularity lies in the fact that fund managers move around a lot, which can affect fund performance.

The product is similar to the Skandia Multifunds multisa, which has a smaller range of 279 funds from 28 fund managers. Some investors may prefer the extensive choice that the Jarvis product offers, but others may feel confused by too much choice. The Skandia product also has a higher initial charge of 4.5 per cent, but at 0.5 per cent, its annual management charge is lower than the Jarvis product.

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